Recombination of deltaRec to psiJalpha will delete the TCR delta gene, which is thought to play an important role in the bifurcation of the TCR alphabeta versus TCR gammadelta differentiation lineages. We recently detected a DNA-binding protein in human thymocytes, the so-called PJA-BP, which recognizes the psiJalpha gene segment and might be one of the factors involved in the regulation of preferential deltaRec-psiJalpha rearrangements. We now investigate PJA-BP expression and its correlation with TCR delta gene deletion in thymocytes. Our electrophoretic mobility shift assay experiments showed that the PJA-BP is evolutionary conserved in human, murine and simian thymocytes. Using a large series of human hematopoietic malignancies (n = 30), we conclude that PJA-BP expression is thymocyte specific and seems to be restricted to thymocytes committed to the TCR alphabeta lineage. Analysis of seven well-defined human thymocyte subpopulations showed that preferential deltaRec-psiJalpha rearrangements as well as PJA-BP expression can be detected from the immature CD34-/CD1+/CD3-/CD4+/CD8alpha+beta- thymocyte differentiation stage onwards. These experiments indicate that expression of PJA-BP in human thymocytes starts simultaneously with preferential deltaRec-psiJalpha rearrangements, which supports our hypothesis that PJA-BP is one of the factors involved in the preferential recombination of deltaRec to psiJalpha.

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International Immunology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Verschuren, M.C.M, Blom, B, Bogers, A.J.J.C, Spits, H, & van Dongen, J.J.M. (1998). PJA-BP expression and TCR delta deletion during human T cell differentiation. International Immunology. Retrieved from